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in three years, sitting down with nbc's david gregory this morning to talk about the fiscal cliff. >> i'm arguing for maintaining tax cuts for 98% of americans. i don't think anybody would consider that some liberal left wing agenda. that used to be considered a republican mainstream agenda. >> joining me senator olympia sn snowe of maine. let me start with that. it does seem sort of counter intuitive to have republicans wanting to fight for tax hikes for no one and in that fight, being willing to allow tax hikes for everyone? >> you know, i would agree with that. obviously it is important to make sure that middle income america does not confront a tax increase at the beginning of next year, which is less than two days away. that is critical. the second part is, of course, is trying to address the spending cuts that are going to be crucial next year as well. more for the long-term debt reduction that i think republicans are talking about, but the bottom line is, we should pass this tax extension for middle income america before we adjourn this year. >> and what is -- what do you -- wher
with david gregory yesterday talking about guns. let's come back and we'll quickly talk about it. >> here's the bottom line. we're not going to get this done unless the american people decide it's important. and so, this is not going to be simply a matter of me spending political capital. with public opinion, there's nothing you can't do, and without public opinion, there's very little you can get done in this town. >> so, i like that because it's a recognition of the facts, which is that politicians tend to be a reactive, rather than a proactive species, even the president of the united states. so, let's talk about his public opinion point. where is public opinion? it's moved a little bit on guns, but how much has it moved? >> marginally. you saw pew had their poll out where it went from like 42% to 49% -- >> in terms of people supporting stricter -- >> right, exactly. >> yeah. >> so, it's marginal in the change, but i think coming back to that point of where members of congress are and what their constituents want from them, you know, republicans in the house have strong nra backing, st
them on amtrak, and to another point that when david gregory talked to the president, asked him about his legislative priorities going forward into the next term, he didn't proactively mention gun control. it was sort of added in the discussion afterwards. i think we come back to the question of whether there's a political will to go beyond the rhetoric and have real legislation. >> president obama will have be to willing to spend a long time on this, and all -- probably all of his political capital and just it's going to be a slog. that was what we got from "meet the press" yesterday. it's just clear he knows this is going to be a slog, and he needs people, the american people, to be on his side, or else it's just not going to happen. the media coverage, like you said, has already dropped off. it's not going to continue unless there's a public outrage. >> absolutely. you know he has the rett cal skill to do it. if the president puts his rett cal skill and weight behind it, at least we can keep the discussion going. we have an important thing we need to do, because jimmy williams, tod
schumer -- how many times did david gregory ask him if he could support chuck hagel's nomination? and schumer was not -- schumer knew exactly what he was doing. let's not pretend, you know, that was a misstatement or anything like that. he was sending a signal to the white house. hey, buddy, pull this thing. don't make us fight for hagel. we're not going to do it. there probably actually was more support to fight for susan rice than i'm detecting when it comes to chuck hagel. but the way i think the fiscal stuff has impacted it, it's taken the white house eye off the ball. they've not managed that situation very well. and i think it's because they're all just so consumed with fiscal cliff. >> hey, chuck, do you have -- can we get the camera to pull back? do you have shorts on or sweatpants? >> i can see his breath. it looks cold. >> reporter: peter was giving the weather report in washington. first of all, you can see my breath. >> yeah. >> reporter: if you want to look at that, number one. it's mid-30s. >> i think he's just smoking. >> reporter: my crew here, they're bundled up,
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